Congressman Bart Stupak Claims Obama Has Upheld Order on Abortion Funding in Health Care
by Steven Ertelt
September 17, 2010
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Congressman Bart Stupak, who pro-life advocates say betrayed the movement when he voted for a government-run health care bill that includes massive abortion funding, says he believes President Barack Obama has upheld his executive order that claimed to confirm no abortion funding but pro-life groups said had significant loopholes.
In remarks to the Washington Times, Stupak "remains adamant" that the deal he made with Obama to vote for the bill — and bring enough of his coalition along with him to pass it — in exchange for the disputed executive order was worth it.
"The Democrats who are pro-life arent [disappointed]. The president has held up the executive order. The states that have tried to put near catastrophic coverage…abortion coverage were told they couldnt do it," Stupak told Times reporter Kerry Picket.
However, pro-life groups say the health care bill allowed funding of abortions in three states before they blew the whistle and placed enough pressure on the Obama administration that they relented.
The National Right to Life Committee exposed the abortion funding and the Obama administration responded at first by claiming the executive order Obama signed prohibits the funding NRLC uncovered.
Then, Obama officials revised the statement to say they promised the high risk insurance programs would not fund abortions in Pennsylvania, New Mexico, Maryland or any other states.
Douglas Johnson, the legislative director for the National Right to Life Committee, told LifeNews.com in July that the dustup proved the point his organization and other pro-life groups made that the health care bill funded abortions, the executive order was insufficient to prevent that, abortion funding would have happened without NRLC exposing it, and the public will have to take the Obama administration at its word that abortion funding will not occur in the future
"First, the assurances that were offered in March by certain congressional Democrats, and by their guardians among the interest groups, that the final health care bill contained adequate pro-life safeguards, were patently false. All the major pro-abortion groups are now openly proclaiming what National Right to Life said all along — neither the law Obama signed, nor his executive order on abortion, prohibit federal funding of abortion in the high-risk program," Johnson explained.
"In fact, the executive order only addressed two specific provisions of the 2,000-page health care law — and it does not resolve even those two provisions in a satisfactory manner," Johnson added.
Stupak responded by telling the Times that Obama essentially kept his word and his administration told the states, specifically Pennsylvania, that they could not include abortion funding in the high risk pools.
"Pennsylvania has amended theirs. They made it very clear that they are not doing it," he said.
Stupak also previously defended Planned Parenthood in an interview with the Times and said "Planned Parenthood does not do abortions in my district."
The Times reporter indicated she followed up with Stupak today about the fact that the Planned Parenthood centers in his congressional district make abortion referrals.
"When I pointed out to the Michigan Congressman today that the Planned Parenthoods in his district may not perform abortions but do offer referral services to other Planned Parenthoods where abortion services are provided outside the district, he shot back ‘That’s not true,’" Picket noted. "Really? The Petoskey and Marquette Planned Parenthoods would say otherwise."
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